FCC gives the green light for T-Mobile purchase of Verizon 700MHz spectrum

FCC gives the green light for T-Mobile purchase of Verizon 700MHz spectrum

Back in January, T-Mobile scored a deal with Verizon to swap some cash, AWS spectrum, and PCS spectrum for a number of Verizon’s 700MHz A-block licenses.

With T-Mobile's licenses plus $2.36 billion in cash, it works out to an aggregate value of roughly $3.2 billion. The deal expands T-Mobile’s “low band” spectrum holdings to 9 of the top 10, and 21 of the top 30 markets in the US.

The markets where T-Mobile is gaining 700MHz spectrum include Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. This “low band” spectrum is high-value because the nature of the lower frequencies provide better coverage and better building penetration.

Both carriers will be using the spectrum swaps as a means to augment existing coverage they already have. The spectrum swaps will also affect holdings in northern California and Atlanta. T-Mobile should have its soon-to-be acquired spectrum up and running before the end of the year.

T-Mobile’s LTE service is covering more than 200 million people thus far. The new 700MHz A-block licenses cover about 158 million people, which includes the aforementioned markets. Team Magenta has been rapidly rolling out its LTE service, now in over 273 markets.

It is not known how these increased low-band license holdings might affect T-Mobile’s position in the 600MHz auctions set for next year. T-Mobile has been lobbying heavily at the FCC to place caps on auction winnings that basically limit AT&T and Verizon from bidding on too much spectrum. The proposed rules involve spending thresholds relative to pre-existing low-band holdings in a given market, and would partition whole blocks of spectrum solely up for bid by smaller players.

via: PhoneScoop

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15 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

No Chicago. :(

2. Gawain

Posts: 433; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

That's because Chicago is l@me... :-P

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Chicago > your city

12. g2a5b0e unregistered

Haha. Tell him, Smurf! +1000

3. g2a5b0e unregistered

No phones currently in T-Mobile's lineup can take advantage of this new spectrum, but I suppose it doesn't matter too much considering it won't be deployed until the end of the year. I just hope the Note 4 has the requisite bands since it will more than likely be my next phone. I'm not too worried about it though. I'm sure the chances it won't are very slim.

4. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Good point. Definitely something to look forward to though. I'm very happy with the service they have already but I'm glad they're not standing still.

6. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Actually, it's quite annoying how quickly T-mobile's mid UHF signal fades in small towns, while AT&T's low UHF goes much farther. I just don't understand why then Verizon was interested in some AWS and PCS spectrum in exchange the valuable lower SMH spectrum when it's fully vested in the higher SMH spectrum.

5. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Worse yet, phone makers refused to support band 12, a superset of band 17, without a tier-1 carrier. AT&T, for some reason, has agreed to perform the tests of prototypes supporting band 12, but, since it doesn't own the block A of the spectrum, it said that it'd try to partner with other carriers for the testing. I suspect that T-mobile would be the ideal partner, as then both carriers could exchange favors, like roaming agreements, as the outcome of such a deal. If so, both carriers should use GSM in order that both customer bases could benefit, which would exclude Sprint and Verizon.

7. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

Galaxy Light (T-399) has it. It has LTE bands 4(AWS) and 13(700 MHz).

8. g2a5b0e unregistered

Correct, the Galaxy Light does have those bands you mentioned, however, this spectrum operates on Band 12. Therefore, like I said, no phones currently in T-Mobile's lineup support this spectrum.

11. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Band 13 is Verizon's block C in the upper SMH band, a stone throw from the lower SMH band 12, yet dozens of MHz away.

13. rtreshetar

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

The galaxy phones along with the iPhone's support the 700mhz spectrum.

14. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

It is not enough to support a band in the 700MHz range. That's not how the electronics work. The circuit must be designed to be able to tune and filter specific frequencies. At the moment there is no phone that supports band 13.

10. Federated

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

I see Los Angeles in the list. Awesome.

15. danny1460

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

remember that T- mobile and Metro Pcs merged..They need the cdma spectrum for those..And hopeful that means that i don't have to switch to sprint or verizon...now if they'd use 2 & 3 sim card phones like africa has( avail at amazon) would be nice

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